Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2021 Grants Program for the Conservation of the 17th Century Royal Palace and Archaeological Museum of Kandy
The United States Embassy in Colombo, through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), has partnered with the Department of Archeology to conserve the 17th century Royal Palace and Archaeology Museum in Kandy. This project aims to conserve the Old Kandyan Kings’ Palace and upgrade the Archaeology Museum in the Kings’ Palace located within the Sacred Temple of the Tooth complex.
The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), is a Grants Program of the United States Government which supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression. Since its inception in Sri Lanka in 2012, AFCP has supported over a dozen cultural heritage projects ranging across different historical periods and regions. The U.S. State Department considers helping other countries preserve their cultural heritage as central to its mission of safeguarding humanity’s foremost cultural achievements.
The Department of Archaeology is the apex institution responsible for the recovery, analysis, protection, and conservation of the archaeological heritage of Sri Lanka. The Department of Archaeology has preserved ancient monuments the tangible heritage of Sri Lanka preserving the environment, and promoting economic growth towards the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goals through heritage management. The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation has granted approximately 52 million Sri Lankan rupees ($265,000) to the Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka for the preservation of our Cultural Heritage.
The Royal Palace of Kandy symbolizes distinctive architectural, historical, and cultural features unique to the Kandy period which is the last feudal kingdom of Sri Lanka. The Old Kandyan Kings' Palace is threatened with rapidly decaying due to leaks from the roof caused by tropical weather and passage of time, exposure to the humidity of the atmosphere and sunlight was instrumental in damaging many important architectural features such as timber crafts unique to the Kandyan period and its historical value. The artefacts in the museum hold a very important part of Sri Lankan history as Kandy is the last kingdom of Sri Lanka.
By conservation of the Royal Palace located within the World Heritage Site of Kandy through the AFCP funds, the United States also hopes to encourage tourism, promote economic development, and help to preserve Sri Lanka’s magnificent cultural heritage.